The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:
- Cloud computing and an associated demand for massive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video apps
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must accommodate substantial amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical demand for a new generation of switches that offer much more performance, control, availability and manageability than older platforms were engineered to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering consistent high throughput, secure access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and double that for each system, a powerful catalog of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable QoS, fast switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's FNF technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common infrastructure is shared by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional features including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are supported in a multi-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your information technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or management team retraining.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum uptime through multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition specific client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated switches often cost more to manage and support than current models, provide less performance and fewer features, and in some situations can subject organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and implement seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch has a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a full suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important protocols including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by offering setup flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class functions, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology combines as many as nine separate switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing devices without service interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent offers deep expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a migration to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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